The HTC One is following in the footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and is getting the Google treatment. The "Nexus edition" HTC One will be sold with the stripped back, pure Android operating system. Announced by Google VP Sundar Pichai, recently appointed head of Google's Android division, at the D11 conference on 30 May, the HTC One Nexus will be sold out of the Google Play store from 26 June.
It's the second Nexus edition smartphone in as many weeks. Announced at the Google I/O conference on 15 May, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus will go on sale on the Google Play store at the same time as the HTC One.
And judging from Pichai's comments at D11, we can expect to see more Nexus devices as Google seeks to provide a standardised Android experience across the board.
"We're developing a user experience that scales across the world [...]," TechCrunch reported Pichai saying at D11. "We're making Android the operating system that is consistent across [a range of platforms]."He denied that Google would go as far as Apple in controlling its OS, saying, "people will get plenty of opportunities to differentiate".
With both phones running the same software, and with little difference in price ($599/£390 for the HTC One and $649/£425 for the S4), these two big-hitters will be going head to head in a straightforward test of their hardware and popularity.
Rumours of the HTC One Nexus began when the pure Android Galaxy S4 was announced, with some suggesting that it would have a very limited initial run, perhaps as low as 50,000 handsets. With the HTC One Nexus perhaps undermining HTC's standard HTC One offering, limiting the initial run might be a way of mitigating its impact. The HTC One Nexus will offer 32GB of inbuilt storage, half of what you get from the standard HTC One, but it will be $50 (£33) cheaper. It will only be available, at first, to customers in the US.